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Britain's New Anti-Terror Law  
User currently offlineMdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4124 posts, RR: 8
Posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1302 times:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7159908/

The House of Lords approved new powers to order house arrest, impose curfews and electronic tagging without trial, after the government made concessions to end a bitter parliamentary deadlock just three days before similar legislation was to have expired.

The Prevention of Terrorism Bill, which also allows the government to ban terror suspects from meeting certain people or traveling and to restrict their access to the Internet or telephone later received the formality of royal assent to become law.


It looks like this law has some overtones of the Patriot Act in the US. How do the Britons on this board feel about this law? Also keeping with my constant confusion between Britain and UK, will this law apply to Scotland, Wales, and N.I. too?


"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19215 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1287 times:

Everyone, regardless of the alleged crime for which they are to be tried, must be considered absolutely innocent until they are found guilty beyond all reasonable doubt by a jury of peers. This standard of proof must be upheld if even a basic level of justice is to be achieved. Everyone is, in my opinion, entitled to complete justice.

While I realise the need to “arrest, impose curfews and electronic tagging without trial” – it is because of the alleged risk the people pose – I am not at all happy that they are not to be tried. A trial relies on evidence. It could be fairly argued that because these detainees will not be tried, there is no evidence or insufficient evidence (either in quantity or quality) of the risk they apparently pose, despite protests by ministers to the contrary. If there is no or insufficient evidence that they do pose a risk, then to detain them without trial is absolutely unjustifiable. This is the only conclusion I can reach based on there being no trial. I presume the risk they apparently pose is deduced from their association with particular people, which per se does not mean they themselves pose a risk.

If there is sufficient evidence of the risk they pose, which would stand-up in court, then I have no problem with them being arrested and duly tried in a just manner – but to not try someone, but rather merely detain them, is wholly unjust. Would an alledged mass-murderer be detained without trial, despite posing such a risk? No. So why an alledged terrorist?



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineFlyLondon From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1265 times:

These are the same people that a few weeks ago the Government argued were so dangerous they should remain in prison without trial - but are now apparently suitable to live in the community amongst us, albeit with electronic tags. I feel sooooo safe.

User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1260 times:

The fact that indefinite imprisonment without trial goes against the very foundations of the judicial system not withstanding, it must be noted that after September 11th, a Bill was passed without any fuss allowing for most of the things contained within this Bill. It's only because the Act will cease to be law on Sunday that things have come to a head. Some significant hypocrisy is being displayed by the Lib Dems and especially the Tories.

It's a clever political move by Labour. The people who really think this is a civil liberties issue are the same people who think the war on Iraq was unjust, and wouldn't have voted Labour anyway. This way he can appear to be tough on terrorism, appeasing the Daily Moron-reading electorate. Were anything to happen, heaven forbid, then Blair can fall back on the idea that the original unamended Bill would have stopped the attack - the Lib Dems and Tories are to blame. I think that's a possible by-product, not the true thought behind the Bill. It goes to show, however, just how different to the New Labour elected in 1997 Blair and co. are becoming.

As for whether it's justified, I think it's not purely on the ideas of civil liberties and trial by jury which has is the cornerstone of the judicial system. Before a response can be deduced, the nature of the threat must be calculated. Given the intelligence services are pretty much unchanged since September 11 2001 and the war on Iraq, I think it's pushing things too far to remove key (ideological, perhaps) civil liberties based on the ideas of people who have got it wrong spectacularly twice in the past.


User currently offlineGary2880 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1241 times:

i dont want to see british guantanimos

if their that dangerous you should send them to court with evidence to try them then jail them legally. utter disgrace that people can be held without trial and having their case heard. should be utterly illegal, their doing excatly what their trying to stop saddam and the like doing, if no one knows their being detained then who will know if you add a bit of torture to them, slipperly slope


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13192 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1225 times:

This has come in, in a much revised (reduced?) form, after an almost unprecedented battle in Parliament.
Truth is, despite claims that the security services have thwarted several attacks, the government are scared that should an attack occur, they will get the blame, I think Labour should have more confidence in the general good sense of most people.
But this has cropped up again and again since 1997, Labour, despite their huge majority, being frightened of the tabloids.

I don't subscribe to the conspiracy types, I don't think these laws, in any of their various forms, are a deliberate Orwellian plot, just a panicked response from Ministers, I'm willing to believe that ministers do have sleepless nights worrying about terrorism, but so what? That goes with the job.

But the objections to them are well founded, the Government have had to make significant amendments to get the bill passed, they have only themselves to blame, for the fault of the whole Iraq WMD debacle, which has so eroded trust in Government use of intelligence sources, was theirs.

The security services provided them with estimates, guesses, not certainties about Iraqi WMDs, the Government, facing a UK electorate who could tell the difference between Saddam and Bin Laden, Iraq and Afghanistan, were in a majority against the UK taking part in Bush's desert adventure/feel better about yourself exercise post 9/11, in Iraq, did exaggerate and use information out of context.

So the Government DID 'sex up' the info, the BBC Today Programme were right, Hutton was an absurd whitewash, and everyone knows it, Blair included.
John Scarlett, who was involved deeply in this whole sorry exercise, was the promoted to head of MI6, to the general dismay of everyone.
So small wonder they have such opposition now, including Lord Irving, Blair's legal mentor from years back, who served in Government until 2003.

These laws, are not similar to the Patriot Act, they are much more targeted, meant to be used in extreme cases, that does not make them desirable however, hence the fierce opposition, despite the huge Labour majority in Parliament, meaning many Labour MP's rebelled.

So if they had to struggle with a huge majority, in a time of real concern about terrorism, it's hard to see them extending the Bill in the future, that said, for all his (pre-election) opposition to the Bill, the thought of Michael Howard in 10 Downing Street with this Bill in place is not a pleasant one, judging by his record in the previous Tory government.

I presume the Bill will apply in Northern Ireland, not that it needs to as the Republican Movement are busy being exposed for what they are, but this time by those who regarded themselves as 'Republican People'.

But N.I. has the unhappy and counter productive history of Internment in 1971, while I accept that what was proposed by Blair now is far more targeted than the clumsy Unionist driven 1971 round up, the principals are the same.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1197 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 5):
I don't subscribe to the conspiracy types, I don't think these laws, in any of their various forms, are a deliberate Orwellian plot, just a panicked response from Ministers, I'm willing to believe that ministers do have sleepless nights worrying about terrorism, but so what? That goes with the job.

Yes, I agree with that. Parliament has actually done a pretty reasonable job here, I suspect the only reason this bill has got through in anything like its current form is because of the very real prospect that the anti-terrorism legislation could have fallen totally, leaving us with no provision for dealing with suspects.

In essence, the Tory demand for a "sunset" clause has been acceded to, in reality. Whilst this bill has proved to be deeply unsatisfactory for just about everyone, it will only survive for a year. In the run up to this time next year, a rather better considered proposal will come to light.

It is in fact the lawlords rejection of any form of detention without trial that created this panicked situation. One of the more fascinating insights on recent days that came to light from a number of senior judges was that detention without trial cannot be approved by act of Parliament at all because it runs contrary to Magna Carta. Now, Magna Carta cannot be undone by Act of Parliament, because it is a covenant between monarch and people. That means that habeas corpus quite simply cannot be removed, hence the need for an alternate solution.

On a personal level, I hate this Act. I am prepared to conced that something needed to be put in place, and thatwe couldn't have a situation where there was no legal framework at all, and so on that basis, I would put up with this for the fixed period of one year until something better and more permanent can be arranged. But only reluctantly, and only for that one year period.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1172 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 6):
One of the more fascinating insights on recent days that came to light from a number of senior judges was that detention without trial cannot be approved by act of Parliament at all because it runs contrary to Magna Carta. Now, Magna Carta cannot be undone by Act of Parliament, because it is a covenant between monarch and people. That means that habeas corpus quite simply cannot be removed, hence the need for an alternate solution.

That is interesting ! I suppose it's true, because Magna Carta was never an act of Parliament (had Simon de Montfort even invented Parliament back in 1215 ? I can't remember the date). Funny that, the basis for English constitutional law, and the only thing England/Britain has ever had that even remotely resembles a written constitution or Bill of Rights (up till the EU Human Rights legislation) and it's not subject to alteration by Parliament. Cool ! Despite the offense it does to my egalitarian and anti-nobility sentiments, ra ra Barons ! Good job.

Re the proposed legislation, I don't have the details, but the idea of any kind of judicial restraint without the right of a trial or a hearing goes against every civil liberties instinct I hold dear. It ain't right, I don't care how much of a danger these people are, unless they have committed an actual crime, the law has no right to touch them, and you can't make thinking about crime, a crime in itself.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14003 posts, RR: 62
Reply 8, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1168 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 7):
That is interesting ! I suppose it's true, because Magna Carta was never an act of Parliament (had Simon de Montfort even invented Parliament back in 1215 ? I can't remember the date). Funny that, the basis for English constitutional law, and the only thing England/Britain has ever had that even remotely resembles a written constitution or Bill of Rights (up till the EU Human Rights legislation) and it's not subject to alteration by Parliament. Cool ! Despite the offense it does to my egalitarian and anti-nobility sentiments, ra ra Barons ! Good job.

The first 20 articles of the German constitution, which mainly deal with human rights and the basic setup of the parliamentary democracy can not be changed by act of parliament either. German law also does not include the possibility of a plebicite about the constitution.

Jan


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1168 times:

You may be getting confused between De Montforts there. The better known Simon De Montfort was killed at the battle of Evesham in 1265 (fifty years later) following the future Edward I's rescue of his father, Henry III. It was nevertheless, De Montfort's attempt to uphold the Provisions of Oxford and Magna Carta itself that led to that civil war.

He's actually not as well known as he ought to be, given that he was exceptionally enlightened by the standards of the time. He does have a university named after him though, and I like to think that all in all, that wouldn't have displeased him.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1161 times:

I know there was a Simon de Montfort who was heavily involved in the Albigensian Crusade on the side of the Church and the king of France (boo, hiss !), but it may not be the same one (he lived from 1165 to 1218).

User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1159 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 10):
I know there was a Simon de Montfort who was heavily involved in the Albigensian Crusade on the side of the Church and the king of France (boo, hiss !), but it may not be the same one (he lived from 1165 to 1218).

Correct. That was the father of the Simon De Montfort who effectively ruled England (and ruled well too!) and was killed at Evesham.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1157 times:

Oh ta - good to get these things straight.

Re the Magna Carta, I was wondering - would the provisions about no person may be fined to their utter ruin be somehow contrary to Blair new fines which are based on a person's income rather than a standard basic fine for everyone regardless ? Which incidently I loathe even more than the Anti-terror law - they are deeply and abidingly undemocratic and should be scrapped.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1154 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 12):
Re the Magna Carta, I was wondering - would the provisions about no person may be fined to their utter ruin be somehow contrary to Blair new fines which are based on a person's income rather than a standard basic fine for everyone regardless ? Which incidently I loathe even more than the Anti-terror law - they are deeply and abidingly undemocratic and should be scrapped.

Er. You may have got me there. I know that the idea was trialled a few years back, but I thought it had been scrapped. I know that Blair keeps going on about it, but I wasn't aware that anything was in the works.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1153 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 13):
Er. You may have got me there. I know that the idea was trialled a few years back, but I thought it had been scrapped. I know that Blair keeps going on about it, but I wasn't aware that anything was in the works.

Oh. I thought this was a genuine proposal that was already going through Parliament. I read about it in a copy of the Daily Mail (blecch) I picked up in desperation to read on a plane. I may well be mistaken.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1156 times:

Equally, you may be totally right.

I'm not sure, I had a quick look to see if I could find anything about it through Google and couldn't, but that doesn't mean anything - it's not the easiest search to conduct.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
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